For more than a decade, The RZA has proven himself as an innovator. From his production style to last year’s philosophical manual, The Tao of Wu, the Wu-Tang Clan founder is known for breaking down hip-hop's barriers. Now, as he readies his directorial debut Wu-Tang Vs. The Golden Phoenix (watch the trailer below), he’s functioning outside of the box once again.

According to the film, which a has been in the works for years, is a martial arts flick in the same vein as the old kung-fu movies that Bobby Digital is known for sampling in his music. The Abbot serves as the movie's writer, director and star, as well as executive producer along with Hostel director Eli Roth. The movie will also star kung-fu vet Robert Tai and will feature music from Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante.

Currently, the timetable for the release of Wu-Tang Vs. The Golden Phoenix is unclear, as the Rza is also working on his other kung-fu film, The Man With the Iron Fist set to hit theaters in 2011. The Shaolin rep will star in the Universal picture, for which he also serves as co-writer and director.

RZA will next appear in Due Date, a comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, due out November 5 of this year. —Adam Fleischer